I find the way I work is to devour heaps of information, process it, dream about it and let my thoughts ramble away. At some stage in the not too distant future these ramblings turn to coherent thoughts (hopefully) and work themselves into something usable.
Well this has been the process in thinking about my own Happiness Project. While I reluctant to take on a year long specific project like Gretchen did in her Happiness Project Book (I never finish anything anyway, and don't want to disappoint myself), I do want to set myself some goals, tasks and thoughts to sit alongside my current yearly goals.
Here are a few things I want to remember to do that I feel will boost my happiness.
- Get more Vitamin D - take a walk, sit outside or just feel a bit of sunshine every week
- Unplug & Turn off - since I got my iPhone last year I have been glued to it. Same with the new Mac and the Apple TV. While I love the convenience of having the world at my fingertips, I need to switch off. I am going to start with a 1/2hr before bed at least 4 nights a week and build from there with the plan to go a couple of hours every day (and not just when I am sleeping).
- See my friends - I used to be a great friend who not only spoke with people but actually saw them in person. I am making time for my friends and aim to reconnect with at least 1 friend a week. Either in person or at least over the phone. Facebook, email and texting doesn't count.
- Call family - the above led me to think about my interactions with my family too. While I may not be able to see them all the time due to distance, I do want to speak with them. I am a great one for email or text and I want to speak with family at least once a week.
- Stop watching bad TV - i have found myself watching crap TV shows just because they are on or I am waiting for the next show. I want to stop watching crap to fill in time and pursue other interests or watch things that matter to me. A stock pile of magazines on the coffee table are my first point. Apple TV is helping so i can download what i want to see and not worry about the ads.
- 12 new experiences - this is my favourite so far. I have had a goal for the last couple of years around visiting 12 new restaurants a year and this year I wanted to add a new edge and experience new things. This is about just doing things, planning and doing new things. Anything as long as I have never done it before.
So this is the start of consciously doing things to make myself (and others around me) happier. Because you only have one life so why not make it happy one? I look forward to adding more along the way and doing as much as I can and checking the results.
One of the things that rang true to me in Gretchen's experience was around the concept of just being me and understanding that what makes others happy doesn't necessarily mean it will make me happy. And that's ok. By being me I can start to understand the things that really work for me side the things that don't. I sometimes feel that knowing what doesn't make you happy is a great start to understanding what does.
Just my thoughts for the day.